Three or four players (up to 6 with the extension) play against each other to create the most prestigious settlement on the island of Catan, rolling dice to collect resources to build roads, towns, cities and other advancements. (90-120 minute playtime)

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45
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14answers
3k views

Is pretending to want to trade before playing a monopoly card objectionable?

In Settlers of Catan, I sometimes try to ask people if they want to trade a certain resource, tricking them into revealing the approximate amount of that resource in everyone's hand. After this I play ...
38
votes
7answers
2k views

In Settlers of Catan, how do you overcome bad initial settlement placement?

In Settlers of Catan, how do you overcome bad initial settlement placement? In a lot of games of Catan I've played, initial settlement placement seems to really make or break the game for a player. ...
37
votes
2answers
10k views

Do my own villages/cities interrupt my “longest road” in Catan?

In a monthly game night, my friend interprets the rules to say that if I have a village or city on my road, it reduces the "longest road" length. I interpret the rules as saying that my village/city ...
32
votes
8answers
13k views

How do you make Settlers of Catan work well for 2 players? (Problems and play-tested solution described, alternatives requested)

The basic Settlers of Catan game is designed to work for 3-4 players (or more with 5-6 Player Extension). No 2 player variant is suggested by the rules, and for good reasons: Trades (an exciting ...
31
votes
8answers
3k views

Who won this game of Settlers of Catan?

If player A reaches 10 victory points on his turn but forgets to count, and immediately after his turn, the following player, player B, also reaches 10 victory points and claims victory, does player A ...
30
votes
9answers
2k views

Which resources are better at the start of a Catan game?

Is it better to start with Wheat and Ore in order to rapidly upgrade settlements into cities, or is it better to start with Wood and Brick to build roads?
29
votes
8answers
4k views

What are some alternatives to using dice in Settlers of Catan?

In Settlers of Catan, there's a variant where instead of rolling the dice, you use a stack of 36 cards with each combination. This reduces the luck component, but has as disadvantage that you can ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

When I put the robber on someone in Settlers of Catan, does the resource I take HAVE to be random?

Say I have 3 ore, 2 wheat, and a wood, and player B has a wheat, a wool, and a brick. Player B puts the robber next to one of my settlements and has to take one resource at random. Player B wants to ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Which of the 5 resources in Settlers of Catan (base version) is most important? Why?

Experienced Settlers of Catan players know that the answer to this question will vary based on many board setup factors such as resource productivity, 2:1 ports, whether you can corner the market for ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

In Catan, can I ask how many cards are in a player's hand?

While playing Catan tonight, I rolled a 7 and moved the robber. No one had more than 7 cards, but I still asked how many cards people had in their hand because I wanted to know who had the most. All ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

Are general 3-to-1 or specific 2-to-1 ports better in Settlers of Catan?

Which type of ports do you find more useful in Settlers of Catan, General 3-to-1 ports or 2-to-1 ports for a specific resource?
23
votes
1answer
9k views

Breaking roads in Settlers of Catan

Let's say my opponent (o) has a road network: o - - - - - o | x as x, can I: o - - -x- - o | | x ? And break his already existing road? My question is not ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you place your initial settlements in Settlers of Catan?

Initial settlement placement in Catan can really affect the outcome of the game. What strategy do you follow in Settlers of Catan for initial settlement placement. Does this strategy change if you ...
21
votes
9answers
1k views

How do I avoid the endless trade negotiations in Settlers of Catan?

When I play Settlers of Catan, I often find myself rapidly bored by the trading component of the game. This is normally because of one or two players who insist on endlessly protracted negotiations ...
21
votes
6answers
714 views

Is there any economical game which demonstrates social-democratic economy rather than capitalism? [closed]

As much as I enjoy games like Monopoly or Settelers of Catan, I'm very concerned about the way these games affect players' concept of economy, as they demonstrate extremly capitalistic economical ...
21
votes
5answers
8k views

What are the differences between the four editions of The Settlers of Catan base game?

I haven't played Settlers of Catan yet, but I've been considering asking my gaming group if they want to try it. As I understand it, Settlers of Catan is now in its fourth major version. If I do get ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Catan: when to buy development cards?

I never buy development cards in the beginning: the Knights are fairly useless, the Largest Army bonus is not a priority, and it's too risky to gamble on drawing a Road Building card. When is the ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

What are common contracts in Catan?

Players in my Catan groups never reneg on deals, so we have a number of common contracts. For example, we often sell each other a "Not-Hit," the right to be avoided the next time the seller gets to ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Is giving resources away for free allowed?

Motivation: I once had one surplus card on my hand, and knew the robbers would come soon. So I gave it to someone for free, to avoid losing more cards when they hit. I was surprised by how badly this ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

Public knowledge in Settlers of Catan?

Settlers of Catan has a lot of public knowledge. For example, a player cannot hide how many resource cards or development cards they have. Are any of the following public knowledge? Size of the ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

What can I do to avoid being stuck being able to do nothing in Settlers of Catan?

My friends and I play a fair amount of Settlers of Catan (normally with 3-4 players). Sometimes I do well and sometimes I do badly; however, the most infuriating games are those where I'm unable to ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

In Catan, can you put the robber on the desert?

In Settlers of Catan, we've always played that you cannot put the robber back in the desert. But watching tabletop this week, they did exactly that, and in the youtube comments people have said that ...
17
votes
4answers
601 views

Is it unsportsmanlike to concede when you believe you cannot win?

I've had a long running debate with some folks I play with regarding concession. Some argue that is it is unsportsmanlike to concede a game if you are not doing very well. I contend however, that if ...
17
votes
7answers
38k views

Which Settlers of Catan expansions are recommended? [closed]

I was introduced to Settlers of Catan just a few weeks ago here. I plan on buying it and I would like recommendations as to which expansions I should get.
17
votes
8answers
12k views

Where can I find good tile layouts for Settlers of Catan?

I just bought a copy of Settlers, and noticed that there was a suggested starting layout that is included in the Almanac. I noticed it was mentioned online as well: "new editions of the game also ...
17
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the key strategy differences between Settlers of Catan and Seafarers?

Just starting out with Seafarers of Catan—what are the key strategy differences between Settlers of Catan and Seafarers?
17
votes
12answers
1k views

Creative handicaps in Settlers of Catan?

I've gotten really into Settlers of Catan recently. There are a few people I regularly play with and these games are really fun / intense; however, when any of this group splits off to play "friendly ...
17
votes
3answers
437 views

Is drawing resources required?

Players draw resources, commodities (Cities and Knights), and fish tokens (Fishermen of Catan) during the course of various Catan games. It is almost always advantageous to draw your earned "goods" ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I show my resource cards to other players in Settlers of Catan?

I was playing a game of Settlers of Catan the other day and one of my fellow players rolled a seven. One of the other players was trying to convince the person who rolled seven to put the robber on ...
16
votes
13answers
895 views

How to reduce slow starts at the beginning of the game?

We recently played a game of Settlers of Catan where for the first 3 rounds none of us got any brick at all, so there was no road construction at all and it dragged a little. I'm not looking to reduce ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

In Catan, how to ensure nobody lies when monopoly card is played?

I don't like that the rules assume players are honest. One time, we had a player that lied about not having the requested resource, but was caught in the next turn when he tried to buy a road with ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Avoiding stealing a resource when moving the robber in Catan

Is it allowed to move the robber, but not take a random resource from another player? Avoiding stealing a resource may sound odd. One reason you might want to: you need to play a soldier card to move ...
15
votes
4answers
555 views

What is optimal end play in Settlers?

Part of what makes Settlers of Catan both balanced and exciting are two sets of slow-the-leader rules: The robber and trade embargoes. While this means you have a chance to win even after a slow start ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Can you build a road on the other side of another player's settlement?

Player A: Wants to expand to resource-rich area of board. they builds two roads and plans to build a settlement, and continue their road to the resource-rich area. Player B: Also wants same location ...
15
votes
4answers
509 views

What is optimal robber placement in Settlers?

Every time I think I've mastered Settlers, I discover yet another novel tactic or strategy. This time it's Robber placement. I've usually selected robber placement based on a combination of factors, ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Catan : Multiple extension combination

I just bought the extension Cities and Knights (I don't know the rules very well at the moment). I already have the base game and the Seafarers of Catan. Is it possible to combine, on the same ...
15
votes
2answers
647 views

Can you collect a resource of your choice if you have no production due to the robber?

In "Cities and Knights" there is a city improvement which allows you to "collect a resource of your choice" if "you don't receive production on a turn." Does this privilege apply when the following ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Settlers of Catan Data

I'd like to do some statistical analysis on Catan games, but to do that I need data. Does anyone know of a place I can find empirical data on Catan play? The stronger the players, the better. Awesome ...
14
votes
4answers
556 views

Is number diversity really important?

People often say you should go for number diversity in your initial settlements. Obviously having higher-probability numbers is good, but is 6-9-4 and 8-5-10 really better than 8-5-10 and 8-5-10? ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Is bribing off the robber a good addition to Settlers of Catan?

When I play Settlers of Catan with my family we sometimes allow bribing of the person placing the robber to not place it in a particular spot. Does anyone else play this way and if so do you find ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

When do trading deals become too unbalancing?

I've played a few games of Settlers of Catan with friends and seen some deals emerge in the trading that don't seem quite right to me. When do deals that extend beyond the current trade become ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Roll a 7, move robber AND play knight and move the robber again in the same turn

Lately while playing Catan I've been in situation of rolling a 7 and having a knight development card in my hand. Is it legal for me to move the robber due to the 7 and then play a knight and move ...
13
votes
2answers
653 views

Can a 4-length road ever be Longest Road in Settlers of Catan?

Suppose I have an 8-length road and Longest Road, but later someone splits my road in half with a settlement, leaving me two 4-length roads. Assuming no one else has a longer road than me, do I lose ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How is gameplay improved in the Cities & Knights Expansion?

I've played both regular Settlers of Catan and the Seafarers of Catan Expansion, but I haven't yet played Cities & Knights and I’m curious about how it plays. I've noticed a lot of people speak ...
13
votes
1answer
697 views

Can You Buy a Catan Border That Fits?

"The border of the 4th edition Settlers of Catan is too small for the board hexes. To be exact, each hexagonal tile is about 79 mm wide. Five of them, end to end, form the longest stretch of land ...
12
votes
11answers
2k views

Short-version of Settlers of Catan

What are some rule changes that shorten the game, and what drawbacks do those changes have? Please limit your answers to rules changes with which you have first-hand experience!
12
votes
3answers
687 views

Counting cards in Settlers of Catan?

Since most moves in Settlers of Catan are public knowledge, one could count cards and keep track of the opponents' hands at all time. However, it seems that there are a few obstacles to doing this. ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Distribution of tokens in Standard 4 player catan?

My 4 player catan set has been mixed with my 5 & 6 player expansion set, parts have been lost, and last time I played we had 3 fields with an '8', no number '2' and a missing '10'. Would someone ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Which tournament format best emphasizes winning (as opposed to avoiding last place)?

I've played enough Settlers that I think I could do well in a tournament. However, a cursory glance at upcoming tournaments suggests that most Settlers tournaments use a Swiss scoring system that ...
12
votes
1answer
534 views

When is the Richest Settler evaluated?

I've run into what I believe might be an edge case for the rules of the Traders and Barbarians expansion to The Settlers of Catan. I'm hoping someone might be able to clarify (preferably with ...